What to do when illness strikes - build a new bike!

Can Sam overcome illness to get race-fit and do his new bike justice?

by SamShaw   February 29, 2012  

Planet X Nanolight

This year hasn’t got off to the keen start that I intended, illness has blighted the start of my year, culminating last week with a nasty sinus infection that left me in bed for a couple of days.  I'm blaming my two young kids spreading germs around the house like it's a paid job.   My first ever race was scheduled for Saturday 3rd March so I decided to take the race bike out for a shakedown run on Sunday as I was feeling slightly better, 50mins slow pace, still felt ill but not terrible, got home and BAM! I was hit with a migraine so it was off back to bed.  It’s still not gone away and I’ve regrettably cancelled the race entry for the coming weekend.

One of the reasons I’ve not blogged in a while is that the only thing I seem to have talked about is illness, it’s shaped everything I’ve done on and off the bike.  In between colds/infections I’ve had some fairly good rides and put in 700 miles since the start of the year, but the total could’ve been at least twice that had I not been constantly ill.  My defence has been to take time off the bike to try and recover but it doesn’t seem to be working.  Daily vitamins and Echinacea hasn’t boosted my immune system either, I’m half tempted to take myself down the glue factory!

Joe Beer gave me some valuable advice when he coached me over winter 2010/2011: if you can’t get out on the, be productive in other areas; checking equipment, doing maintenance, sorting admin, planning races (more about that in my next blog) so I’ve been following orders and over the last few weeks I’ve been building my new race bike. 

The Verenti Millook that Wiggle had leant me as part of being featured in Cycling Plus was returned and that left me with some work to do finding a new ride.  I had a couple of ideas about the kind of bike I wanted and considered another half alu/half carbon frame but eventually opted for a full carbon frame in the shape of a Planet X Nanolight.  This is fitted with a Sram Force groupset and 3T finishing kit, with Pro-Lite providing the wheels in the shape of some 1,500g Bracciano’s.  A dodgy weigh in of the bike (me on the bathroom scales sans bike, me on the scales with bike) estimated it at 7.5kg with pedals so I’m fairly chuffed with that.

The plan was to feature the bike in a build blog but all the photographs I took during the build are terrible due to the fact that it was done in semi-darkness in the shed at the bottom of my garden!  Rest assured that I did it all myself, with the help of Youtube to guide me through gear indexing.  Sram provide some pretty useful videos on setting up their kit and I was pleasantly surprised to find that everything works the way it should.  The bike rides like a dream, I just can’t wait to get well enough to do it some justice!

8 user comments

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Bike's looking mean there Sam!

awkward's picture

posted by awkward [64 posts]
29th February 2012 - 23:46

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Going for the stealth look, Andy!

Twitter: @velosam

SamShaw's picture

posted by SamShaw [324 posts]
1st March 2012 - 10:29

1 Like

That really is very nice, Sam. Neither garish nor that oppressive black-on-black that I must admit I liked until everyone did it. And wearing black kit.

posted by nick_rearden [864 posts]
1st March 2012 - 12:02

1 Like

Cheers Nick. I bought the wheels first and knew I wanted Sram Force so they sort of gave me the idea for a simple black (or carbon) and white theme.

I then bought the frame as it came on super-sale from Planet X as they cleared stock to make way for the new N2. The white frame was tempting but I've got a white Kinesis winter bike and I must admit it's a bit of a bugger to keep clean!

The 3T stuff was chosen because I was looking for a shallow drop bar with a reasonable weight. The white strip fitted in with the design concept. I was tempted to go with white cable outers but I'm glad I didn't, I think it'd look a bit tarty - I have them on my white Kinesis though and they look great, but I'm not so sure about them on this bike.

I was tempted to go with white bar tape and saddle but I already had the comfy Specialized Romin SL and carbon look SRAM bar tape (it looks better than it sounds!) was chosen to compliment it. It didn't look right with black 'leccy tape finishing the bars to a quick wrap of white tape has made it look a bit tidier.


Twitter: @velosam

SamShaw's picture

posted by SamShaw [324 posts]
1st March 2012 - 12:21

1 Like

Nice bike, hope you get to use it a lot more! I did a similar thing a few years ago, bought everything off the bay then had it assembled. Only bike I have now and gives me pride that it is unique.

posted by ttbeauty [1 posts]
1st March 2012 - 20:16

1 Like

Great bike. I love my Nanolight HiMod. For the past 20 months it hasn't missed a beat between sprint tris, the Alps and Pyrenees, and a full Ironman. At the moment it's helping me work my way through the USA Cycling categories.
It's a super frame: ride it like you stole it, and have fun!

jamesfifield's picture

posted by jamesfifield [105 posts]
5th March 2012 - 22:20

1 Like

Thanks ttbeauty and jamesfifield. The pride after building it is a real bonus - mainly because it actually works and hasn't fallen to pieces!

Good to hear that you like your Nanolight James, I've only put one ride on it so far, the weather's been cack since but I'm planning on stealing it out as soon as I can.

Twitter: @velosam

SamShaw's picture

posted by SamShaw [324 posts]
7th March 2012 - 12:07

1 Like

I love my nanolight too, 'cept mine's white and
runs on hand built mavic / ambrosio wheels. 3T and force
elsewhere like yours though Smile

still on the 3rd switch-back of Bwlch !

posted by therevokid [924 posts]
14th March 2012 - 13:31

1 Like